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J Proteome Res. 2014 Feb 7;13(2):581-95. doi: 10.1021/pr400751k. Epub 2014 Jan 16.

Exosomal proteins in the aqueous humor as novel biomarkers in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

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Diatech Korea Co., Ltd. , Young-Shin Boulevard, 57-5, Munjeong-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138-826, Korea.


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) describes the progressive degeneration of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), retina, and choriocapillaris and is the leading cause of blindness in people over 50. The molecular mechanisms underlying this multifactorial disease remain largely unknown. To uncover novel secretory biomarkers related to the pathogenesis of AMD, we adopted an integrated approach to compare the proteins identified in the conditioned medium (CM) of cultured RPE cells and the exosomes derived from CM and from the aqueous humor (AH) of AMD patients by LC-ESI-MS/MS. Finally, LC-MRM was performed on the AH from patients and controls, which revealed that cathepsin D, cytokeratin 8, and four other proteins increased in the AH of AMD patients. The present study has identified potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for AMD treatment, such as proteins related to the autophagy-lysosomal pathway and epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and demonstrated a novel and effective approach to identifying AMD-associated proteins that might be secreted by RPE in vivo in the form of exosomes. The proteomics-based characterization of this multifactorial disease could help to match a particular marker to particular target-based therapy in AMD patients with various phenotypes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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